Are you a Facebook subscriber?
Do you religiously read Facebook’s blog so that you’re aware of any changes it makes to its advertising terms and conditions?
Thought not. You’re probably far too busy running your business and trying to make your mark. Now you may wonder why you should bother acquainting yourself with Facebook changes, after all, the social media site is probably doing it all the time. Well, the fact is some of the major changes it makes could potentially have profound consequences for your business. So you need to know about them to avoid being caught short. But as you’re obviously busy, we thought we’d bring them to your attention so you don’t have to go searching for them.
Businesses can no longer insist on followers liking a page before users enter competitions.
The concept of requiring users to like a company page before allowing entry into competitions, or ‘like-gating’ was nipped in the bud by Facebook late last year. Why did it do this? Well, many businesses were using competitions to boost their online following and the number of likes they received. If you try this tactic now, Facebook will probably take your page down.
Does that mean businesses can no longer competitions? Of course not; you can certainly do so, but you can’t insist on a user liking your page before letting them participate. What you can do is let them enter the competition and then ask them to like your page. Is this rule change such bad news for businesses? Well, no, not really. By giving fans the choice about whether or not they choose to like your page, you’re more likely to recruit a social audience that’s genuinely interested in your product or business; and it’s better to have a small number of loyal followers than it is to have a large number of not-really-interested followers. Likes are really not what businesses should be concentrating on. What they should be focusing on is engagement
If you now want to advertise on Facebook, then you’re going to have to pay.
Because of this recent change, businesses can no longer feature items that are in their latest sale, or mention special offers on the services it provides. Now if you want to advertise, you’ll have to stump up the cash.
Why has Facebook done this? Well, it claims that it had made the changes in order to crack down on what it calls ‘overly promotional ads’. It claims users had complained about the disproportionate number of advertisements in their newsfeeds, so it changed its algorithm to catch these ads and limit their reach.
So, what alternatives are open to businesses? Well, you can try Facebook advertising.
By doing this you can still post about sales and special offers, but you’ll have to do it through Facebook’s advertising platform, and that means you’ll have to pay for the privilege. The good news is that Facebook advertising is an effective and surprisingly affordable marketing tool, so it might just be worth it. Facebook ads can potentially help you increase your reach and boost your sales numbers. The best news of all is that paid advertisements come with some impressive measuring tools, so you’ll be able to see how effective the advertisement is working.
Goodbye promotional art covers.
Just as Facebook cracked down on promotional advertisements, has it cracked down on promotional art covers? Why you may wonder? Well, the art cover is the first thing users see when they log onto a business’ Facebook page, and that makes it a valuable piece of online real estate. Some businesses were simply using this space for promotional purposes, and simply taking pictures of promotional flyers and using them as cover art. But that’s now strictly forbidden.
Does that mean you can’t use overly sales-oriented pictures as cover art? Well, technically yes; but you can add call-to-action buttons to cover photos to encourage users to engage with your brand or buy from you. You can add buttons like ‘shop now’ or ‘sign up.’ So effectively you’re doing the same thing, but are not seen to be doing it in such an overt way.